what are the symptoms of heart failure

Symptoms Of Heart Failure

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Due to the increased number of patients being diagnosed with heart failure, it is important to know what symptoms to look for. Being able to identify some of these signs and symptoms might help you to seek treatment promptly.

Symptoms Of Heart Failure

Some of the most common signs and symptoms are shown in the image below.

symptoms of heart failure

Shortness Of Breath

Patients find that they often feel breathlessness while exercising or lying down. The breathlessness is due to the accumulation of fluid in the lungs. They describe the feeling of wanting to get up suddenly at night to catch a breath of fresh air.

They also report that they use two to three pillows to elevate their head to sleep. Sitting up usually relieves symptoms.


This is one of the most common symptoms of heart failure and is very difficult to treat. Patients usually complain of being tired all the time. This is most likely because the muscles are not receiving enough blood and nutrients.

Loss Of Appetite

Due to water accumulation in the lining of the stomach and the digestive tract, patients have a poor appetite and are unable to eat food properly.

Swelling Of The Ankles And Legs

Due to ineffective pumping of the heart, fluid gets accumulated throughout the body. Edema or fluid accumulation is more prominent in the dependent areas of the body like the ankles and legs. In advanced cases, fluid can accumulate in the abdomen (called ascites) and around the lungs (called pleural effusion).

Sudden Weight Gain

This is due to the rapid accumulation of fluid in the body.

Persistent Dry Cough

This is due to fluid accumulating in the air pockets in the lungs. Some patients start with these symptoms and are subsequently detected to have weak hearts.

Abdominal Swelling

This is called ascites. Water accumulation in the abdomen causes the abdomen to bloat and enlarge due to fluid filling the abdominal cavity.

Bulging Neck Veins

Excessive fluid fills the body, and the veins are filled with this fluid. This makes them bulge up.

These are some of the common symptoms of heart failure. Read on to learn about what tests you may need to diagnose the condition.

Dr Vivek Baliga B
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